I have a confession to make. I have my funeral planned down to the most minute detail.
I want music. Loud, fun, feel good music like Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine” and Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman.” I want a martini and a margarita bar, and more chardonnay then you can shake a corkscrew at. (The good stuff, please. J Lohr and La Crema. Capiche?)
And of course there has to be food.
Get Les Halles on Park Avenue South to cater hangar steak, frites, and a succulent green salad. Then top the whole thing off with Hershey’s. Hershey’s bars. Hershey’s kisses. Some with almonds. Some without. (But please, skip the white chocolate. It’s beyond blasphemous to us purists.)
Whether I die today, forty-seven years-old, two kids, twenty years of marriage to my best friend and the only man I’d ever pretend to love farming for, or thirty years from now, the rules are the same:
No crying. And no goody bags.
You heard about that, right? Some poor unsuspecting woman went to a funeral where the guests were given a lovely satchel that contained a dollop of the remains of the dearly departed. I guess the host felt it would be nice if the bereaved could bring a little of that very special someone home with them.
And I guess I feel... ick.
Is it just me, or does this smack of a kid’s birthday party gone berserk? Maybe I could understand if the deceased’s favorite expression was “You want a piece of me?” but I have a nagging sense that this was not the case.
And I’m absolutely, positively not trying to speak ill of the dead. On the contrary: I’m trying to defend them against the alarmingly poor judgment of a few of the living.
Like I said, I happen to think celebrating someone’s life is a wonderful way to go (if you’ll pardon the play on words). But let’s not go too far.
I want you to drink my favorite drinks. Dance to my favorite songs. And say “Suz, you ‘Glamour Don’t.’ You had to wait on that highlight. Now you’re going to spend the rest of eternity with roots.”
But please, don’t parcel me out like a premium. I’m not some cap with a corporate logo you buy by the gross for the company golf tournament. I’m a person. A dead person, but a person nonetheless. And unless I died in battle, there’s no reason to resort to body bags. Even pretty, shiny ones.
If anything, you might just want to buy doggy bags. There’s bound to be too much food at my funeral, and while I don’t think you’ll go to Hell for wasting Hershey’s, I can absolutely assure you this: stick so much as my initials on the side of those sacks, and Heaven won’t be an option either.
Susan McCorkindale writes about life on the funny farm on her daily blog, or just buy the book, Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl.